The Philadelphia Eagles will soon have to make a lot of decisions on who stays and who goes as the 53-man roster deadline approaches on Saturday, August 31.
There are always tough decisions when an NFL team has to sit down and decide which player is best suited for the final roster. However, the practice squad is probably the best option if a player is unable to make the 53-man roster. Yet there are a limited amount of spots on an NFL practice squad since only eight players can join. An NFL team needs to put the best players available on the practice squad in case an injury or an unfortunate circumstance occurs. The Eagles will definitely have plenty of tough decisions since they have a lot of talented players that will be left out of the 53-man roster.
The Eagles have had plenty of standout players that very few people heard of prior to training camp. Guys like Jake Knott and Damion Square impressed a lot of coaches and should be able to make the 53-man roster. Those two guys are great examples of how an undrafted player can come in and make a strong case for themselves to make an NFL roster. However, even players who were drafted couldn’t really make a spark for the team. Joe Kruger and David King are players who were drafted in the 6th and 7th rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft, and not just their roster spots in jeopardy but even their practice squad spots are up in the air. These are players that make it tough on the coaches and the front office on whether or not they should add them to the practice squad. However, I think the Eagles will add them to the practice squad since they invested a draft pick in them.
There were also a lot of outside linebackers who have a chance to make it to the 53-man roster in Chris McCoy and Everette Brown. Both of these players showed incredible athleticism throughout training camp and the preseason. If one or even both players somehow don’t make the 53-man roster then they will immediately go to the practice squad. They are two guys who have load of potential and can serve as valuable backups for this team.
Now the skill position players will also make it tough on the Eagles coaches and front office to make a decision. Wide receivers like Russell Shepard, Ifeayni Momah, Will Murphy, Jeff Maehl, and Greg Salas all have potential in this league, and one of these guys should make the roster. The Eagles will obviously keep DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, and Damaris Johnson. We don’t know how many receivers the Eagles will keep, but since they like to run a lot of two tight end sets my guess is that they will keep five.
So with that being said I think the Eagles will have to add Salas to the 53-man roster. Salas has been the best receiver out of Shepard, Momah, Murphy and Maehl so it’s only fair to add him to the roster. The Eagles will probably add Shepard to the practice squad along with another wide receiver. It all depends if Chip Kelly wants to keep Maehl, who we haven’t seen play yet, or 6-foot-7 240-pound wide receiver Momah. I lost hope on Momah awhile ago simply because his route-running is very poor and the fact that he hasn’t done anything in the preseason. I understand fans want a big wide receiver, but you need to be a good route-runner to be successful in the NFL. Maybe Momah will be added to the practice so he can develop since he is only 23-years old, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Momah is cut by Saturday.
So as you can see the Eagles do have a lot of talent they can add to their practice squad. Not to mention guys like Michael Tucker, Emmanuel Acho, Michael Bamiro, Matt Tennant, Matt Tobin, and Allen Barbre can be added as well. It’ll be a stressful couple of days for the Eagles, but it’s a good thing to cut a guy with potential because you know you have talent in front of him.
Sonny Bryan is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SonnyBryan50